Home | COVID-19 | QLD nurse contracts coronavirus as 220 colleagues go into quarantine, NSW works to contain hospital outbreaks
A nurse is seen working at a Covid-19 testing clinic at Ipswich Hospital. Photo: Glenn Hunt/Getty Images

QLD nurse contracts coronavirus as 220 colleagues go into quarantine, NSW works to contain hospital outbreaks

A 32-year-old nurse at Ipswich hospital in Queensland has tested positive for COVID-19 as 220 staff at the hospital have gone into precautionary quarantine. 

The nurse is one of two new positive cases in the state announced on Sunday, and Ipswich hospital has moved all appointments elsewhere whilst only the emergency department remains open. 

Both new cases are linked to the youth detention cluster in the state's south-east, which has now seen 33 cases. 

Ther number of healthcare workers infected during the pandemic is an increasing area of concern, but Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young believes that training and PPE are sufficient. 

"This is just such a difficult virus, it really is quite infectious," she said. 

"We know from all the cases that have happened in Melbourne, there's been large numbers of healthcare workers. 

"This is a difficult time for our healthcare workers and I'm extraordinarily grateful to every single one of them for the care they're providing day-in, day-out at risk to themselves and their families." 

In NSW, health authorities are working to stem the impacts of a coronavirus cluster emerging at two Sydney public hospitals, with more than a hundred workers in isolation waiting on test results. 

There are four new COVID-19 cases in NSW – a returned overseas traveller and three healthcare workers at Sydney's Concord Repatriation General Hospital and Liverpool Hospital. 

The three healthcare workers were diagnosed during investigations into an emergency department doctor, reported on Saturday, who worked at the two hospitals while infectious. 

Another case, a visitor to a hospital emergency department where the doctor worked or sought treatment, will be included in Tuesday's numbers, taking the cluster to five. 

Patients considered close contacts and all staff at Concord and Liverpool EDs at the same times as the positive cases are being isolated and tested. 

The three newly reported health workers say they had no symptoms while at work, and also wore personal protective equipment while caring for patients. 

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said there was no evidence to suggest NSW hospitals weren't operating safely and effectively, and urged people not to delay urgent care. 

Authorities suspect at least one of the new cases caught the virus while both parties were wearing masks. 

"For some of the cases there isn't that clear-cut direct contact without a surgical mask," Dr Chant told reporters on Monday. 

"We are exploring avenues of whether there could be fomite transmission. 

"What that means in lay terms is if your hands are contaminated, and then you're touching computer screens or touching pens and pencils pieces of paper, can you actually transmit the virus?" 

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